Investigation of epidemiological relationships among brucellosis isolates from Sudan between 2005-2015

Adil Abdel Rahman Ali Ismail1,2*, M. Betty Ledwaba2, Tamador El-Khansaa Elnour Angaraa3, Enaam M. El Sanousi4, Abdalla MA5 and Henriette van Heerden2

1 Department of Preventive Veterinary Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine/ University of Bahri, Khartoum, Sudan

2 Department of Veterinary Tropical Disease, Faculty of Veterinary Science/ University of Pretoria, South Africa

3 Department of Development Studies & Extension, College Animal Production Science Technology/ Sudan University of Science and Technology, Khartoum, Sudan

4 Department of Preventive Medicine, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine/ University of Khartoum, Khartoum, Sudan

5 Department of Preventive Veterinary Medicine, college of Veterinary Medicine/ Sudan University of Science and Technology, Sudan.

* Corresponding author


Brucellosis is considered one of the most important bacterial zoonosis worldwide.  The disease in Sudan, is caused by members of the genus Brucella and affects livestock (i.e. cattle, sheep and goats), camels, equines and humans. Information about Brucella species and their genetic relationship in Sudan is scarce or unavailable. The aims of the current study were to provide brief background on brucellosis in Sudan and to investigate the epidemiological relationships among some Brucella spp. isolated from Sudan using microbiological and molecular methods.

In this study 20 Brucella isolates were microbiologically typed (biotyped) as B. abortus bv 1 (n=1), bv 3 (n=1) and bv 6 (n=15); B. melitensis bv 1, 2 and 3 (n=3). The species-specific Bruce-ladder PCR confirmed the B. abortus (n=17) isolates along with the three B. melitensis. The multiple-locus variable number tandem repeats analysis (MLVA) scheme showed the presence of 4 genotypes (GT) in MLVA-8 (28, 43 and two new GT), MLVA-11 ( 63, 181 and two new GT) and MLVA16 (temp815 and nine new GT) within the Sudan B. abortus strains and .  All B. abortus bv 6 strains (n=15) isolated from cattle between 2006-2015 except one (SN 11)  as well as a  B. abortus bv 1 strain from camel and B. abortus bv 3 from caprine milk clustered in the MLVA 8 and 11 genotype 34 and 63, respectively, with strains from Tchad, Nigeria and Sudan.  MLVA-16 genotyping indicated that the B. abortus bv 6 isolated from cattle milk (SN 11) in Sudan is identical to strains isolated from Portugal.  The B. melitensis bv 1 strain from camel clustered with the American group while B. melitensis bv 2 and 3 from camel and cattle, respectively clustered with the East Mediterranean group and all were new MLVA 16 genotypes.

  1. abortus bv 6 is the predominant cause of bovine brucellosis in this country. The MLVA genotyping indicated that B. abortus strains from Sudan is closely related to genotypes from neighboring countries, Chad and Kenya, and their neighboring countries Nigeria and Uganda respectively. Trade of live animals with neighboring as well as other countries poses a risk of introducing infection. The Sudan B. melitensis eastern Mediterranean genotypes were closely related to United Arab Emirates strains and a Somalia strain. This knowledge and future genotyping could contribute towards brucellosis control in Sudan.


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